When bone marrow cells are exposed to chemotherapy due to cancer, chemotherapy will decrease the number of red blood cell being produced. Once that occurs your body becomes anemic because the body is destroying red blood cells faster than it can make new ones. Radiation also has the same effect and it can prevent the body from storing and using iron properly. Conditions that cause blood loss can cause someone become anemic due to the lack of iron present in the body. There are some types of anemia eg. Blackfan anemia that are not caused by an iron or vitamin b12 deficiency. Theses types of anemias usually require transfusions or corticosteroids. The problem with blood transfusions is the risk of the body getting too much iron in that the transfusion becomes harmful although it was intended to help with the anemia. Blackfan anemia occurs when the bone marrow does not make enough red blood cells, and parents can pass this condition onto their children if there is a family history of it. Since Blackfan anemia is not caused by the lack of iron or b12 in the body, a blood transfusion if done to increase the supply of red blood cells can become problematic. If the body gets too much iron, it can cause damage to the liver, heart or even cause diabetes. Taking steroids over a long period of time can cause osteoporosis and hormone imbalance. Erythropoietin is a hormone in the kidneys that signals the bone marrow in your body to make more red blood cells. The erythropoietin test can be used to decide if this protein is a factor as to why your bone marrow cannot seem to make enough red blood cells especially if you are not undergoing any treatment for cancer and you do not have an iron or b12 deficiency. If erythropoietin levels are low then the body is not producing enough of the protein in the kidneys, if erythropoietin levels are high then there is probable cause that bone marrow function is decreased. Also, too much of a synthetic type of erythropoiesis protein can cause health problems, such as heart attacks or strokes. The synthetic erythropoiesis protein is usually given to avoid a blood transfusion when the body lacks or is low in the kidney producing erythropoietin.
When your anemia is not due to the lack of iron or b12, and your kidneys are functioning normally and your bone marrow becomes of question supplements such as chlorophyll may be useful in increasing your red blood cells. Consult your herbalist and no one will consider you a dope for using it- and more importantly you won't be banned from life!